Long-time Francophone advocate Isabelle Salesse was presented with this year’s Council of the Federation Literacy Award by Premier Sandy Silver in Whitehorse today.
Since 2004, Canada’s Premiers present this annual award to recipients across the country. The award celebrates individuals’ outstanding achievements, innovative practices and excellence in literacy. It recognizes the importance of literacy to participation in all areas of society.
Congratulations to Isabelle Salesse on receiving this prestigious award and I acknowledge her important contributions to literacy for Francophones in Yukon and across Canada. Literacy is often a first step to help people achieve their personal goals and become active community members. A generation of young and young at heart Francophone Yukoners have benefited from the various programs she spearheaded in the community.
Commissioner Angélique Bernard
I commend Isabelle Salesse for her important work in helping Yukoners develop literacy and pre-employment skills, which strengthen our communities and improve our labour force. Literacy is linked to better health outcomes, improved employment opportunities and increased community engagement, and it is important that we recognize and support literacy champions like Isabelle.
Premier Sandy Silver
The Council of the Federation’s members are the Premiers of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. It fosters a constructive relationship among the provinces and territories and with the federal government, to strengthen the Canadian federation.
The Council of the Federation was established in 2003, and the Literacy Award was established in 2004.
The award defines literacy broadly, including family, Aboriginal, health, workplace and community literacy. The award is given to recognize excellence of educators, volunteers and learners.
Isabelle Salesse – Yukon’s Council of the Federation Literacy Award recipient
Throughout her extensive career in Yukon, Isabelle Salesse’s work has focused on literacy in French in minority language environments, grounded in the concept that we are all lifelong learners. She has supported and contributed in the development of French literacy programs and resources both in Yukon and nationally.
For many years, Isabelle managed the Association Franco-Yukonnaise (AFY) training and employment department, later becoming the organization’s executive director. She consolidated a one-stop-shop to meet the French-language needs of adults and families in adult education, literacy and pre-employment preparation. She has also taken on leadership positions with national organizations that promote French literacy outside Québec. Studies initiated by Salesse have led to the creation of tools still used today by Francophone communities.